Last week we learned about a couple of things. We learned that frost is mainly found in the countryside and dew is mainly found in the city. In aquaponics we learned that fish waste helps give nutrition to plants and plants help clean the fish's water. We learned that PH is a measure of acidity and it hurts fish and plants if it is out of balance. This week, we harvested lettuce. We found that the lettuce had a lot of roots, and it was hard to get the gravel out because the roots were so long and tangled. In the tray with the soil, the roots were hard to get out because there was so much soil in between. We had to use 2 rulers to measure the lettuce. The lettuce was purple and green and it had spots on it. The lettuce grew better in the tray with the gravel. We washed the lettuce then weighed it. We put the lettuce in a bag, which some of it will be taken home.
For our experiment, we had 4 rows of basil plants in two different trays. Tray 1 had soil that was made up of 50% loam and 50% clay and tray 2 had soil that was made up of 100% loam. In the tray that contained clay and loam, the plants started out growing well and we thought that was happening because the clay retained nutrients well. In tray 2, which was 100% loam, the plants also started out growing well as was expected, because loam is traditionally the best soil to use for growing plants. To our surprise, the plants in tray 1, which was the tray with half clay and half loam, grew very fast. After two weeks or so, the plants were at a height around 22 cm and were looking great! Unfortunately though, the clay eventually dried out and after a long 4 day weekend of not being watered, the plants died out. As the plants died out, the soil became really dry and looked like concrete. In the other tray that was 100% loam, the plants grew gradually and were nice and tall over the 8 week experiment. They eventually reached a height around 20 cm and proved that soil that was 100% loam is truly the safer and better call. If you are going to do any gardening, Mullanphy school suggests using loam!
We have two trays of plants. One Gravel and one soil. In which tray do you think will do better? The aquaponics tank is not connected to the soil tray. On the other hand, the gravel tray is connected. That is very important for the plants in the gravel tray. Here is why:
We have been learning about fish environments, plants, pH, nitrates, nitrites, KH, ammonia, bacteria, molecules, and macronutrients. We learned that our goldfish give off ammonia, and that is good for plants when the ammonia bacteria eats it and turns it into nitrites. Then, the nitrite eating bacteria eat the nitrites and turns into nitrates which is beneficial for the plants. The gravel and aquaponics environment produced healthy, enormous, gigantic, beautiful plants compared to the soil only environment
Our main focus was on the kale in both trays. We watered, measured, and took care of them. When we first received them they were very tiny. Over time they began to grow very quickly. The gravel tray with the kale grew quicker than the soil ones. Our kale is green and it has a tint of purple. It has ruffles in the leaves and it is very similar to the mustard. It is very difficult to tell the two apart, they are both green and purple.
On March 8,2017 we harvested our kale plants. We dug the kale out of its trays with forks. It was hard to dig them out , because the roots were connected. After we dug them out we measured them. We measured the roots and the plants by themselves. It was fun to watch them grow and harvest them. this has bbeen a n amazing journey. I absolutely cannot for whats next.
The Green Thumb Ambassadors planted tiny seeds called basil. We planted five rows and named each row that we planted. They were called Apple,Bob,Tom,Sam, and Tristan! It was hard to space them out evenly, because they were so tiny. They were 20 times smaller than peas! We watered them daily and made sure they were moist.When they finally started growing they were white and furry. They grew rapidly and we were all astonished. On week 4 we thinned the majority of them, but transplanted some of them because we didn't want them to go to waist. For a couple of days in week five we had a gigantic and dangerous drought! We were unable to water poor and pitiful plants. They suffered greatly and were badly damaged.Tuesday we harvested the basil plants and took pictures of them. Then, we washed them. Now we plan on eating them with pizza and spaghetti and chicken. Maybe even ice cream ! We all had an amazing time in the The Marvelous Adventures Of The Green House Ambassadors!
Guided by Missouri’s Next Generation Science Standards, a team of five children in grades 4-6 from
each Alliance School will undertake challenging, hands-on projects in an after-school program that
willthe meet once a week for the entire school year.
Besides acting as ambassadors to their own schools, presenting what they learn to classes of their
peers, children will create blogs and videos, offering lessons in sustainability, science and
technology on-line, as seen through the eyes of children.
The method of instruction will be experiential and exploratory, with children helping to develop
hypotheses, design the experiments to test them, carry out the experiments, and present their
results. The sixth graders will help the younger children on each team in the most challenging tasks,
and the entire team will develop simple teaching materials—art work, banners, and filmed
skits—to help even younger children learn from their experiences in the program.
Hands-on shared activities will also result in team-building and networking between Alliance
Schools and SLU, which is a priority for future activities of the Green House Venture.